The first real professional success for famed French actress Maria Enders was twenty years ago as the co-lead in writer Wilhelm Melchoir's play and subsequent movie "Maloja Snake", he who picked Maria, then an unknown, personally. She played Sigrid, an opportunistic eighteen year old in an emotionally dependent lesbian relationship with forty year old Helena, who was at a vulnerable stage of her life. Maria has turned down the play's upcoming London revival in which she would now play Helena, it remounted by director Klaus Diesterweg. Her reasons for turning down the role are many including: being at a vulnerable stage of her own life going through a painful divorce; remembering the suicide of Susan Rosenberg, the original Helena, following the original run of the play, the suicide purportedly mirroring what happens to Helena; and the painful memories of the production in still having hard feelings toward who was her older male costar, Henryk Wald, with who she had an affair at the ...Written by
Kristen Stewart is the first American actress to be nominated for a best supporting actress César award and the second nominated since Julia Migenes's best actress nomination for "Carmen" in 1984. Stewart won and became the first American actress to win a César and the second American after Adrien Brody's win for the The Pianist (2002). See more »
In the opening, the characters are riding in what is clearly a second-class rail car. This would be completely out of character, given what we see later in the movie. See more »
No, but everything is weighted to make Sigrid look good.
I didn't read it like that. I see her arrogance and her cruelty. And Helena's humanity. She's able to talk about her own pain. It's moving.
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During the closing credits, four of the actors are shown under the heading "guest appearance by". See more »
Former film critic Olivier Assayas is probably one of those few people who inspire me on a creative level. Not that strange if you consider one of Assayas' own influences: anarchist and situationist Guy Debord. French intellectuals in the 1960s were, in my opinion, too often needlessly complex theoretically and parlor socialists or would-be revolutionaries politically. In contrast, Debord's refreshing anarchist views were typical for the radicality of the 1968-generation and were more about individual freedom, artistic aspirations and fighting against a new form of determinism: consumption. In that respect, Assayas' Après mai was one of the best films I've seen in years. In Clouds of Sils Maria he puts on his meta-shoes and tells the story about an older actress who'll perform in the same play she did when she was young: Juliette Binoche plays Maria Enders who plays Helena. In the meanwhile Valentine (a brilliant Kristen Stewart, who would've expected?!), the personal assistant of Maria, resembles a version of Maria when she was young. Joanne Ellis (Chloë Grace Moretz), an up-and-coming actress with the reputation of a troublemaker, is Maria's co-star in the theater play. But when the play (about a young girl (Sigrid) who seduces an older woman (Helena)) starts to reflect reality (especially because Maria used to play Sigrid herself), the film begins to get an extra - metaphorical - layer. In the end we are confronted with thoughts about time, change, fame, getting older and conflict between generations. Clouds of Sils Maria is a beautiful film with some very good acting, especially by Stewart. It also raises interesting questions about contemporary stardom and transience. Nevertheless, this movie is (feels?) less personal than Assayas' previous one and therefor misses a bit of the uppercut I was hoping for.
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